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Author Topic: Which iMac Model?  (Read 4707 times)
bcnaturephoto
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« on: July 14, 2011, 06:25:24 PM »
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Hi,

I will be purchasing a new iMac 27", and I have to decide among 3 possible models. Memory-heavy software I will be using are Aperture, Photoshop CS5, and will likely get into video editing. I do multi-task quite a bit, and I am not a gamer. I have narrowed it down to these 3, and I am going the refurb route:

1) Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
Originally released late 2009
27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
1TB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics with 512MB memory
Built-in iSight camera

2) Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.8GHz Intel Quad-Core i5 processor
Originally released July 2010
27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
1TB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics with 1GB memory
Built-in iSight camera

3) Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
Originally released May 2011
27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
1TB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics with 512MB memory

Built-in FaceTime HD camera

Any advice on the performance differences and longevity of these 3 (e.g., 3-5 years before replacing)? Looking at the iMac benchmarks, the 2009 i7 quad-core performed the best, followed by the 2011 and 2010 i5's.

http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/05/imac-benchmarks-mid-2011/

However, the 2010 model has a 1 GB video card, which may be an advantage for some applications. OR I better off going with the latest 2011 model?

Thanks in advance.  Smiley
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 02:36:42 AM »
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Personally, I would go for the latest model. It comes with a better graphic card, a Thunderbold port and will be supported longer by Apple.
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Francois
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 04:38:22 PM »
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Bcnaturephoto

I have been looking to upgrade from my current MacBook Pro 2.66 (June 2009).
However I am waiting until it comes installed with the OS Lion, which I have been hearing should be happening next week.
Also would like the capability of using the new Thunderbolt.
You can get some good buys from Apple that are refurbished.
But if you go for the refurbished one, look for the newest iMac (2011) as Francois mentioned.
I would look for an iMac that comes with at lease AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB.
You should get better performance over the AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics with 512MB memory that you are looking at.
I am finding out some programs like Aperture seem to run better with more graphic memory.
Also from what I hear the better video card helps if you do any video editing.

Stu
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 04:44:56 PM by StuartOnline » Logged
pschefz
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 01:37:22 PM »
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...i am a very happy last years top of the line 2.93 i7 27 imac owner which is a great machine...best mac i have ever had...
one thing to consider about lion 10.7...any mac shipping with 10.7 will most likely only run 10.7...any refurb will still run (a proven) 10.6 and $30 is really not too bad to upgrade once all 10.7 issues are ironed out....i think it will be smooth anyway but i already received an email from onone software that there is an issue with the plug ins and 10.7....
for aperture and video work, the vram makes a big difference and definitely go with a quad core i7...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 03:33:58 PM »
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Hi,

You didn't consider the MacPro, that is the desk side model? They are far more flexible than iMacs.

Lot of good advice here: http://macperformanceguide.com/

Best regards
Erik

Hi,

I will be purchasing a new iMac 27", and I have to decide among 3 possible models. Memory-heavy software I will be using are Aperture, Photoshop CS5, and will likely get into video editing. I do multi-task quite a bit, and I am not a gamer. I have narrowed it down to these 3, and I am going the refurb route:

1) Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
Originally released late 2009
27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
1TB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics with 512MB memory
Built-in iSight camera

2) Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.8GHz Intel Quad-Core i5 processor
Originally released July 2010
27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
1TB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics with 1GB memory
Built-in iSight camera

3) Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
Originally released May 2011
27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
1TB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics with 512MB memory

Built-in FaceTime HD camera

Any advice on the performance differences and longevity of these 3 (e.g., 3-5 years before replacing)? Looking at the iMac benchmarks, the 2009 i7 quad-core performed the best, followed by the 2011 and 2010 i5's.

http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/05/imac-benchmarks-mid-2011/

However, the 2010 model has a 1 GB video card, which may be an advantage for some applications. OR I better off going with the latest 2011 model?

Thanks in advance.  Smiley
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 08:33:03 PM »
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Personally, I would go for the latest model. It comes with a better graphic card, a Thunderbold port and will be supported longer by Apple.
I agree with Francois. if you'll be storing lots of  data on an external drive you'll want the speed Thunderbolt can deliver. I the Apple store the Promise Pegasus RAID arrays are already available and more options from other vendors  will be coming over the next few months.
All of the iMacs you list have a really good gamut (I profile with an i1 Pro and i1 Profiler).
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Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
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